September 10, 2014

This month's in Mena Cooking Club, we are making Djibouti food.  Our host Amira chose two different recipes one sweet and one savory.  In the savory she gave us a choice a Somali Soup or Skoudehkaris. I chose to make the National dish of Djibouti - Skoudehkaris. The original recipe is taken from herewith step by step pictures and method.

Skoudehkaris is basically a seasoned meat and classic one-pot stew of lamb or beef cooked in a spiced tomato-based sauce with rice, that would be traditionally be cooked over a fire nomadic style.

A little information about Djibouti. Facing, as it does, the narrowest point of the Persian Gulf, Djibouti lies in a strategic position. It has been used as a landing point for vessels following the Spice Trade for many centuries. As a result, as well as native cuisines (which are very similar to those of neighbouring Ethiopia) Djibouti also has strong Arabic, Indian and British influences. The Portugese also brought the techniques of roasting and marinating foods to this country. Arabs introduced saffron, cinnamon, pomegranate juice and other spices to the country and exotic Asian fruit like pineapple, lemon, orange and limes as well as New World foods like bell peppers, chillies, tomatoes and maize are common. The Djiboutienne staple is a flatbread called Injeera, which is used to wrap various meat and vegetable dishes.

When Mena emailed that I, could participate in this event with the details is was very excited.  When I checked the dish that had to prepare,  all childhood memories came to my mind.  I started telling my husband, childhood stories about eating mutton.  I use not eat mutton and did  not like the smell of it being cooked in the house.  My mother use to cook the mutton and the broth she used to give me, which I disliked, hence I used to get punished for not having it. I never ate mutton till I got married.  How I started eating it after my marriage is big story which I, will definitely tell you in another post. 

Since the recipe was already given to us I, decided not make any changes and use it as given.  I only reduced the quantity of mutton and rice since I, am the only one eating mutton in the house.  Here is how I made it.


2oo G
rams Mutton with bones  -  cubed
1  Large Onion -  chopped
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon  Cumin seeds
4 Cloves
2 Cardamom
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne powder or Chilly powder
2 Inch Stick of Cinnamon
2 Large  Ripe Tomatoes - Skinned and diced
800 Ml  Water
A cube of soup seasoning
1/4  Cup Long-grain Rice - washed
Salt & Pepper to taste


In a griddle lightly roast the cumin, cloves, cardamon and cinnamon.  Grind this to a fine powder.

Heat a large pan with oil, add onions and cook till they are translucent.  Add in the lamb and push the onions to the sides of the pan so that the meat can get contact with the pan, brown it a little. Add the ground spices, cayenne powder and stir fry it for a second. Now, add in the tomatoes and water. Cover and simmer for an hour or until the meat is tender.

After an hour add the rice and again cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.

This brothy stew is ready.  Taste, then add salt and pepper.  Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

The aroma of this stew while cooking is awesome.  I just covered the pan with aluminium foil and left it on slow flame to simmer.   It does not require any attention. After I, added the rice,  gave it a quick stir, covered it foil and  left it to simmer on slow flame until the rice is tender.  This serves as a meal for 2.  As I was enjoying this stew, remembered all the trouble I gave my mother and said "Sorry Mummy". 

The remaining  I, had next day with 2 slices of garlic bread and it tasted even more delicious.  So enjoy this dish, or as they say in Djibouti, بالهنا والشفا! (bil-hanā' wa ash-shifā') or Bon appétit!

Check Out Other Members Recipes Here.

Labels: Mutton, Continental Cuisine, Mena Cooking Club, Djibouti, Soup
Sneha's Recipe
Sneha's Recipe

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. G'day! How warm and welcoming your Skoudehkaris looks! I wish I could come through the screen and try now!
    Congrats on completing this month's Djibouti Cuisine challenge too!
    Cheers! Joanne

    1. Thank you Joanne for the lovely comment. This means a lot to me.

  2. Oh, this looks so good I really want to make it.